Pam Pack ground game looking fiercePublished 4:36pm Thursday, September 5, 2013
Led by a rushing attack that averaged 10.5 yards per attempt, the Pam Pack picked up its first win of the season last Friday by topping nemesis and 2012 2-A state runners up Tarboro, 20-14, in Week 2.
“Getting that first win under your belt is a good feeling … It’s huge for us,” Washington coach Sport Sawyer said. “Getting it against Tarboro — it’s been a while since we beat then and the players and coaches really enjoyed that.”
Running backs Markel Spencer and Stevie Green paved the way for the Pack’s first victory by combing for 315 rushing yards. Spencer, a junior, was sensational as he tallied 12.3 yards per carry to total 185, while the senior Green gained 10 yards a clip and finished with 130 yards.
“I liked the way we ran the ball,” Sawyer said. “The offensive line played well. There were a lot of positive signs.”
In its first two games of the year the Pam Pack (1-1, Eastern Plains) has rushed for 537 yards against two teams that played in state championship games last season.
Washington will faceoff against another longtime rival tonight when it hits the road to take on former Coastal Conference mate D.H. Conley (2-0, Eastern Carolina Conference), who is coming off of a 56-21 win over Ayden-Grifton. But in order to win its second straight game the Pack must improve on finishing off its drives.
“We’ve had a lot of scoring opportunities and we have to take advantage of when we’re inside the red zone,” Sawyer said. “The first two weeks of the season we’ve been able to move the ball, but haven’t come away with a lot of points. We had six points in one game (against Havelock) and 20 in the other. If we want to be a championship caliber team then we have to put more points on the board.”
Sawyer also stressed the importance of improved special teams play. Against Tarboro, the Pam Pack fumbled on its first kickoff return, allowed the Vikings to use a long return to setup their first score and botched a punt late in the game that fueled Tarboro’s comeback hopes.
“I felt the other night we let them back in the game,” Sawyer said. “We have to do a better job on special teams. We went up 20-0 and then the next thing you know its 20-7 and it’s a ball game.”
For the second week in a row the Pam Pack will face a run-heavy team in D.H. Conley, who led by coach Brian Paschal, runs the wing-T. However, unlike Tarboro, the Vikings will strike through the air more often.
Both teams have shown they can run the ball, but whoever wins tonight will be the team that passes the ball most efficiently.
“I think the passing game will be the key this week,” Sawyer said. “We have to defend their play-action passes and complete some more of our passes. I think whoever has the edge in the passing game this week will be big.”